The Jacksonville Jaguars took a chance on wide receiver Justin Blackmon last year when they made him a top five draft pick despite the presence of some off the field issues during his college career at Oklahoma State.
In the 12 months since Blackmon was drafted, he has rewarded the Jaguars faith in him with a DUI arrest and now a suspension for substance abuse that will keep him off of the field for the first four of the 2013 season. Luckily for the Jaguars, they safeguarded Blackmon’s contract with clauses that will void all of his guaranteed money in the event of an incident like Tuesday’s suspension. Essentially, the Jaguars could cut their ties with Blackmon today and not owe him any more money.
The Jaguars are not going to get rid of Blackmon, because he still is one of their best offensive weapons and it is way too early to cut a guy the organization spent a high first-round pick on. With that being said, the people who were responsible for drafting Blackmon are no longer working for the Jaguars and you have to believe that he is running out of chances to prove he is capable of handling himself off of the field.
Perhaps the most concerning thing about Blackmon’s suspension is that he knew after his DUI arrest that his guaranteed money was tied up in him being a model citizen off of the football field and he still slipped up. When you cannot resist the urge to use drugs when you know that millions of dollars are in the balance, it suggests that there may be a significant problem that needs to be addressed.
Blackmon is once again saying all the right things about being sorry, but he said the same things last year so it is hard to trust him. If he wants to have a successful NFL career on the field, he needs to get serious about fixing his life off of the football field.